4.27.2012

INDIVIDUALISTIC STYLE: THE AMERICAN FASHIONISTA


So many times in life I have gone out searching for some 

 BIG * FANTASTIC 

 THING. 
 this 'thing' was sure to make my life completely ....amazing! 

When I was 12, I dreamed of living in the BIG city because at the time I was an urban sophisticate somehow trapped on a horse-farm in the south. Yet, when I did go to the BIG city, I found it... completely suffocating and entirely too intense.  Instead, I fell in love with a city by the sea that proclaimed flip-flops the state shoe and decorated itself in colors so bright and tacky that they might have been illegal. I loved it!



When I was 19 and trying to find my way at the local community college, I dreamed of studying abroad or transferring to some prestigious institution, such as Harvard. Yet, again, I found my bliss and some of my fondest memories in a place much different than I had imagined. The little town of Greensboro, NC, with it's thriving local arts and music community. 

I learn more and more that the parts of life that end up amazing me the most are usually a lot closer than I had ever imagined...


This is certainly what I experienced when I traveled to London in search of inspiration, fashion wisdom, etc... What I found was a special fashionista who was actually homegrown, Alyssa.


 I met this little American fashionista while we were both interning in a showroom in London. I traveled thousands of miles to experience and learn from the amazing supremacy of European fashion, yet who's style did I take note of first? The tried and true American girl with an amazing way of surprising you with her sweet, chic, and fashion-forward style!

It amused me. At the time, I had a bad habit of automatically judging people or putting them into specific categories. What was this sweet, beautiful, sorority-like girl doing wearing black leather with studs? Then she would turn around and wear a fantastic cocktail dress the next day?
Interesting. I liked it. Isn't that what I had traveled so far to do - to be surprised, amused, and stretched?


London was not a bust in terms of fashion, by ANY means, don't get me wrong! It forever changed the way I see the world and my perception of it for the better. It gave me the gift of letting go of many of the 'rules' that I had held in my head and instead use fashion as freedom of expression and just pure fun. Individuality is coveted there, as it should be. There are no mistakes. The mistake is to NOT be yourself.



So, Alyssa was not only beautifully stylish, she was also unbelievably kind, helpful, and sincere. Aside from our lovely Italian, male co-workers, she was one of the best and most comforting parts of London.

Okay, so it turns out I am a homebody! It was cold and dark, you had to walk -EVERYWHERE, and I yearned for re-truns of Friends - I ADMIT IT. But, Alyssa seemed to transition quite stylishly. I feel fortunate to have gotten to know her and that we have stayed in touch. I decided to ask her my special questions and I knew her answers would be interesting. I hope they inspire you as much as they did me...


When I meet with clients the first thing we do is go through a questionnaire, 

which is meant to help me get to know their personality, passions, uniqueness and quirks. 

This is by far my favorite part in the whole process. I love to learn about 
people, what drives them and what has made them who they are.



This is what Alyssa had to say...

1. What gives you passion and inspires you in life?

'" 1. Strong woman inspire me in life. For example, DVF and Tory Burch. Two beautiful strong entrepreneurs who have created a brand name for themselves. They are constantly being innovative and succeeding in the best they can to make women all around feel beautiful. 
2. Passion comes with love. It's a love for being


 independent, fashionable, and innovative."

"There is something so amazing about it because ideas are constantly flowing and the passion of it all is what inspires me."

Give me three words to describe your personal style.

                            "girly *  chic with glamour trendy / boho relax"
*that was about five words, what an over-achiever! ...but I still love her :)...
"It all depends on my mood. I believe a girl can portray a lot of different style depending on the way she is feeling. It goes up an down for me. If I'm in a good mood its very girly and chic. If I am frazzled and in a hurry you def. see a boho relax feel with me because it was put together in an effortless way and falls ever which way to keep me comfortable. Same goes with the weather. When the sun is out I get really fun with fabrics but during dreary days I like to work in some {POC} (pop of color). The POC turns my mood around and keeps me in spirits."


3. What experience have most defined your life and why?


"Starting off working in a boutique called Shangri-La, in high-school is when I believe my real experience started. It was me alone with the owner and that is when I found my true love for art and fashion. How you can create a work of art in your daily life with what you wear. From this, I was exposed to markets and the wonderful work I never knew about.
Later on in college, I was given the opportunity to study abroad in London and Paris. That is when it all truly came alive and I knew anything was possible as long as I kept dedicated and motivated. My exposure to fashion and different fashion companies really opened my eyes to what is all possible. Along the way great people have made it that much better. It keeps me working hard at what I love."



It seems like yesterday, but I actually haven't seen Alyssa in two years, so I also had to find out what this little go-getter had been up to in the world of fashion and otherwise....

"Since London I have been finishing up my studies at Colorado State University. I have become a personal blogger at heart and styled many family and friends, helping them feel fabulous and transitioning their wardrobes over.

I have also recently done a collaboration with an amazing designer out of Orange County, CA. Ashlee Hatcher, the designer of Raptor jewelry. We worked together to put a contest up for a winner to win a free pair of earrings based on the most fashion forward answer to help inspire the designer further in her line. She has recently just become really big and now you can see Steven Tyler from American Idol wearing her pieces he so loves!

I also asked her to share some of her favorite looks of the season...


Check out her blog, Glam and Fashionable











I love the constant reminders that there are amazing people right under my nose. I just have to remember to look! Thanks, Alyssa. Cheers!!



-Stephanie